To tie in with the #100daysofpattern project, we are absolutely thrilled to bring you a whole host of alumni success stories over the next 100 days.
Here we’ve invited our students over the last four years to share some of their designs created on our Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course, and their stories of what they’ve been up to since they completed our course and where they are now. For all those wanting to know how our courses really make a difference to your career – this is the series to watch.
Today we are delighted to share with you the success of Charlotte Brown of Lotti Brown Designs who is based in rural Yorkshire in the U.K.
When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
I’ve always loved to draw. I’d been working in interior design when I came across the Spoonflower site. As soon as I saw it I wanted to create my own fabrics on it, and I started to work out how to make a simple repeating pattern from one of my drawings, using Powerpoint. Once I’d done that, I was hooked!
What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
Once I’d decided I wanted to learn more about creating patterns I quickly came across the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design courses, which seemed ideal for someone like me without a traditional art school education. I’ve taken all the ABSPD modules and also done a lot of self-study, and a few other tutorials and short courses, and a whole load of experimentation to create a pattern-look and technique that suited me.
How would you describe your style?
Colourful, organic and lively with lots of detail. It’s a hand-drawn style that comes from direct observation of nature.
What kind of designer do you want to be known as?
I’d love to be known as an original, expressive and inspiring designer with a recognizable style.
What are you working on currently?
I’ve just started working on a collection inspired by tropical flowers. I’m enjoying drawing the delicate blooms and the lovely bright colours are certainly brightening up the winter days.
What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
Work really hard on perfecting your chosen techniques – experiment, push boundaries, and make the techniques truly yours. Keep trying new things, new subject matters, new methods and new types of media – do it your way and see what happens. It’s great to work to build up small collections in your portfolio too. The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course that I did in summer 2015 really helped me to build up a good body of work quite quickly, and I made some important personal style breakthroughs while working on it too, so I found that really valuable.
What would be your dream design gig?
I would love to have my design work available at Liberty’s or Sanderson.
Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
I’m thrilled that this year I’ve signed some great licensing deals. My designs are now available as phone and tech cases through both Casetify and Deindesign. And a very exciting range of luxury wallpapers using my designs has just launched with interiors company Eades Bespoke in the UK.
In the future I’ll be continuing designing to build up my body of design work further. I hope to attract more licensing deals and I’m also looking into creating and selling some of my own products, too.
If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?
I would definitely be one of my own patterns – there’s lots going on but you’ve got to take a little time and effort to get closer and appreciate all the detail.
Lotti Brown creates her richly coloured surface pattern designs from her home in rural Yorkshire, UK. She looks closely at flowers, plants and nature to inspire intricate ink drawings, which are then scanned into the computer for some digital play, in order to come up with her elegant, but lively, designs.
Lotti spent 10 years drawing maps and plans by hand, and has also worked in the fields of interior and garden design before turning her attentions to surface pattern design.
Starting on Monday November 16 each week we will announce a fabulous new theme and will be posting daily inspirations on the blog featuring designs from Rachael Taylor, our students, contributors and other amazing industry professionals for 100 days! Dip in and out or create every day for 100 days, it’s totally up to you. Just be sure to add #makeitindesign and #100daysofpattern to the images you post on-line. Watch out for the spot prizes handed out along the way too including Pattern of the Week!